#NBA + #NHL Last-Nite Wrap-Up

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nullA historic game by Duncan and his Spurs teammates

It was a day of milestones at TD Garden as the Spurs defeated the Celtics, 95-87. That was the 541st regular-season victory in which Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, andManu Ginobili played together, passing Boston’s trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, andRobert Parish for the highest such total in NBA history. San Antonio’s Big 3 have played seven more games together than did Boston’s group.

Sunday’s game was Duncan’s 953rd individual victory for San Antonio, tying John Stockton‘s NBA record for the most wins with one team. That record was also once held by a Boston legend. John Havlicek played in 824 regular-season Celtics victories, and that was the league record until he was surpassed by Stockton in 2000.

Miami’s outstanding 2nd half produces unprecedented NBA win

The Heat played an extraordinary second half to turn a big halftime deficit into a laugher of a victory, topping the Rockets, 109-89. Miami was the first team in NBA history to win a game by at least 19 points after trailing by a margin that wide at the intermission. The Heat did it by outscoring Houston 31-12 and 34-14 in the third and fourth quarters. Only one other NBA team scored at least 30 points in the third and fourth quarter of the same game while holding its opponent to fewer than 15 points in each period. Cleveland did it in a 148-80 win over Miami in 1991, which was the largest margin of victory in league history.

nullRaptors show how to win big without a big scorer

Balanced scoring was a key to the Raptors’ 106-87 win over the Bucks on Sunday, with Jonas Valanciunas leading the team with 19 points. Patrick Patterson (16),DeMar DeRozan (15), Kyle Lowry (15), DeMarre Carroll (14), and Terrence Ross(11) all scored in double-figures for Toronto. Since Jan. 1, 2010, the Raptors had won only three other games by a margin that large in which no individual player scored at least 20 points, all during the 2013 calendar year.


Canadiens’ Condon keeps his record perfect

Mike Condon, starting in goal for the Canadiens in place of the injured Carey Price, notched his fourth win in four games in the NHL with a 5-1 victory against Winnipeg. Condon is the third Canadiens goaltender to win the first four games of his NHL career. The others were Wayne Thomas, who won his first seven NHL games (1973), and Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, who began his NHL career by winning his first six games (1971).

A sharp weekend for Sabres’ rookie goaltender

Linus Ullmark, who posted his first NHL win with a 3-1 victory over the Flyers on Friday, made 29 saves in the Sabres’ 2-1 win against the Islanders on Sunday. Ullmark is the first Buffalo goaltender to start and win consecutive team games while allowing no more than one goal in each game since Jhonas Enroth did so on April 13-14, 2013, and he is the first Sabres rookie to do it since Ryan Miller on Jan. 14-16, 2006.

nullJohnson opens his account for the 2015-16 season

Tyler Johnson scored his first goal this season in the Lightning’s 4-3 win at Carolina. Entering play on Sunday, Johnson was one of six NHL players who scored at least 25 goals last season-29, in Johnson’s case-but had not scored this season. The others, some of whom have missed time due to injuries, are Corey Perry (33 goals in 2014-15), Jaden Schwartz (28), Logan Couture (27), Pavel Datsyuk (26 goals in 2014-15, has not played this season), and Ryan Getzlaf (25).

nullDefenseman Burns scores twice for Sharks

Brent Burns scored a pair of goals in the Sharks’ 4-3 win at Colorado. San Jose was shorthanded when Burns scored his first goal. He is the first defenseman in Sharks history with a multiple-goal game that included a shorthanded goal, but he’s not the first NHL defenseman with such a game this season. Nashville’s Roman Josi scored two goals, the second of which was a shorthanded empty-netter, in the Predators’ 3-1 win at New Jersey on October 13.

nullStewart and his pals solve the Ducks

Chris Stewart tallied one goal and two assists, and his teammates Richard Rakell and Sami Vatanen each recorded one goal and one assist as the Ducks beat the Predators, 4-2. Before Sunday’s win over Nashville the Ducks had played ten games this season and only once had an Anaheim player scored more than one point in a game. That was defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who notched one goal and one assist in the Ducks’ 4-1 victory against Minnesota on October 18.

Weekend Update: #NFL Week 8 – What You Need to Know

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Boy, oh boy. What a day. Points and injuries, and then some points, and more injuries. Defense was viewed the same way pants are at a Lady Gaga concert—optional and frowned upon. And to be honest, I loved every second of it. If you needed fantasy points, which we all did, and wanted to acquire said fantasy points through the use of bargain quarterbacks, then NFL Week 8 has been Christmas, your birthday, and Shark Week thrown into a blender.

Conversely, if you went with another QB, then rostered Steve Smith and Le’Veon Bell, well…

Let’s just jump right into it……(continue reading)

Source: NFL Week 8: Five Things to Know

Injuries Hurt FanDuel Lineups in Brutal Week 8 Slate of Games

If you made a FanDuel lineup in Week 8, there’s a pretty good chance that someone in your lineup went down with an injury.

Sunday’s early slate of games were absolutely brutal on the injury front. Some of the biggest names in the league went down, including some that looked serious enough to keep some of the league’s stars out for the foreseeable future.

Here are the key FanDuel players that went down on Sunday:

Keenan Allen (@BAL) – 12 FDPs, 23% owned

Steve Smith (vs. SD) – 10.7 FDPs, 14.3% owned

Le’Veon Bell (vs. CIN) – 6.8 FDPs, 10.8% owned

Ladarius Green (@BAL) – 1.5 FDPs, 10.7% owned

Nate Washington (vs. TEN) – 15.4 FDPs, 9.7% owned

Matt Forte (vs. MIN) – 8.9 FDPs, 5.7% owned

Larry Donnell (@NO) – 2.7 FDPs, 1.8% owned

Reggie Bush (@STL) – 0 FDPs, 1.2% owned

Orleans Darkwa (@NO) – 2.3 FDPs, 0.4% owned

Khiry Robinson (vs. NYG) – 2.7 FDPs, 0.2% owned

Note: All ownership numbers are from the NFL Sunday Million


As you can see, injuries crippled FanDuel lineups with these players in them. Only three players on this list had double-digit FanDuel points, and the argument can be made that only Nate Washington lived up to his value since……(continue reading)


#NFL Week 8 Craziness on All Saints Day

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Brees and Saints win historic shootout vs. Manning and the Giants

Drew Brees tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes and Eli Manning threw six TDs. But it was Saints kicker Kai Forbath who delivered the dagger, kicking a 50-yard field goal on the final play of New Orleans’ 52-49 victory. The Giants tied an NFL record as the highest-scoring losing team in NFL history. That mark has stood for 52 years, since a Houston Oilers team quarterbacked by George Blanda lost its 1963 season finale to a Raiders team coached by Al Davis. More on those touchdown passes by Brees and Manning:

It was the second NFL game in which opposing players threw at least six TDs each. Billy Kilmer of the Saints and Charley Johnson of the St. Louis Cardinals had six touchdown passes each in a New Orleans victory at Busch Stadium in 1969.

It was the 10th game in which Brees threw at least five TDs, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning to set a new NFL record.

Brees passed for 511 yards joining Ben Roethlisberger as the only NFL players with two games of at least 500 passing yards.

Brees was the eighth player to throw seven touchdown passes in one game, and it was the 18th game in which a QB reached the 500-yard mark. But the only other player to do both in the same game was Y.A Tittle of the Giants in 1962 (505 yards).

Eli Manning was the 15th player to throw six or more touchdown passes in a game with no interceptions, and he was the first of those players to lose the game.

nullA star is born in St. Louis

For those awaiting the NFL’s next game-changing running back, your man has arrived. Todd Gurley gained 133 yards on 20 carries, including a 71-yard touchdown run, in the Rams’ 27-6 win over the 49ers. Despite an unproductive debut in which he was limited to 9 yards on six carries, Gurley has gained more rushing yards in his first five NFL games (576) than anyone except Eric Dickerson (645) and Adrian Peterson (607).

Only Gurley and Peterson reached the 100-yard mark in four of their first five games. And Gurley is only the third player in league history with a run of at least 40 yards in each of four consecutive games. The others were Tiki Barber in 2002 and Steven Jackson in 2007.

Broncos now 7-0

The Broncos improved their record to 7-0 and knocked the Packers from the ranks of the undefeated with a 29-10 victory at Denver. It was only the fourth game in NFL history between unbeaten and untied teams with at least six wins. The three previous instances:

1921 – Akron Pros 0, Buffalo All-Americans 0. Akron was 7-0-0; Buffalo, 6-0-0. The final score reflected the era and the teams: Akron shut out its first seven opponents while Buffalo allowed just six points prior to this game. The All-Americans missed four field goals.

1973 – Minnesota 10, L.A. Rams 9. Both teams were 6-0-0 prior to this game. Fran Tarkenton connected with Chuck Foreman on a 9-yard pass for the game’s only touchdown.

2007 – New England 24, Indianapolis 20. The Patriots were 8-0-0; the Colts, 7-0-0. The Pats rallied from a 20-10 deficit with eight minutes to play in a rematch of the previous season’s AFC title game. Randy Moss caught nine passes for 145 yards and a TD.

nullManning & Rodgers fail to find the end zone

Whoever would have imagined that neither Peyton Manning nor Aaron Rodgers would throw a touchdown pass in Sunday’s game? It was the first game in NFL history in which each starting quarterback entered with a career average of more than two touchdown passes per game. Sunday was the 65th day on which both Manning and Rodgers started a regular-season game. It was the first of those days on which neither threw a TD pass.

nullAnother big game for Rivers ends in defeat

Philip Rivers passed for 301 yards and three TDs but it wasn’t enough as the Chargers lost to the Ravens, 29-26. That was Rivers’ fifth consecutive 300-yard performance, but San Diego won only the first of those games. He is the third player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards in four consecutive games, all of them losses. The others were Bill Kenney of the Chiefs in 1983 and Matt Schaub of the Texans in 2010.

Bengals remain perfect after a brief respite

Cincinnati survived its treacherous post-bye game and improved to 7-0, the longest undefeated start in team history, with a 16-10 victory at Pittsburgh. The game following a bye has tripped up many undefeated teams in recent seasons. From 2009 through 2014, teams with a perfect record of 3-0-0 or better lost more post-bye games than they won (4-5). That hasn’t been the case in 2015, as the Panthers, Patriots, and Bengals all avoided a post-bye defeat.

Big Ben coughs up a pair of INTs with game on the line

Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ loss, the first while protecting a four-point lead and the second as Pittsburgh sought a potential game-tying field goal. Roethlisberger hadn’t been intercepted twice in the fourth quarter of the same game since 2013, and he had not thrown a single INT in the fourth quarter of a one-possession game-that is, with a margin of eight points or less-since 2012.

nullPalmer is throwing TD passes at a team-record pace

Carson Palmer threw four touchdown passes in the Cardinals’ 34-20 win at Cleveland, reaching the midpoint of his season with 20 TDs. That’s a team record through the first eight games of their season. The previous high was 16, set by Kurt Warner in 2008 and tied by Warner a year later.

Chiefs big London win extends Lions’ crazy losing streak

The Lions travelled to London for Sunday’s game against Kansas City probably unaware that they had ­lost their last 14 games played on the first day of a month, the longest such streak in NFL history. The last time that the Lions won a game on the day we flipped the calendar was on Oct. 1, 1973, when they beat the Falcons, 31-6, in a game played at old Tiger Stadium with Don McCafferty the head coach, Greg Landry the starting quarterback, and Howard Cosell in the TV booth.

Following a 45-10 drubbing by the Chiefs, you can make that 15 straight losses on the first of the month for Detroit, for eight different head coaches and 10 different starting quarterbacks in 12 different stadiums.

With that win, the Chiefs matched their largest margin of victory outside Kansas City since the merger. Kansas City’s only other 35-point win since 1970 away from home was also by a 45-10 score, at FedEx Field against the Redskins two years ago. The Chiefs largest road win in the AFL was a 59-7 win over the Broncos at University of Denver Stadium in their opening game of the 1963 season-a suitable NFL debut for two KC players en route to the Hall of Fame: Bobby Bell and Buck Buchanan.

Bucs are taking advantage of opponents’ errors

The Buccaneers made the Falcons pay dearly for their turnovers, scoring after each of Atlanta’s four giveaways in a 23-20 overtime victory. Tampa Bay’s total of 20 points off turnovers was their highest in one game in more than three years, and its total of 64 points off turnovers this season is the Bucs’ highest through seven games since 1987 (when three of those games were played by replacements during the NFL players’ strike).

nullA big day for yet another Big 3

Derek Carr passed for 333 yards, as Latavius Murray (113) and Michael Crabtree(102) topped the 100-yard mark by rushing and receiving, respectively, in the Raiders’ 34-20 win over the Jets. It was the second 300/100/100 game this season; Carr, Murray, and Amari Cooper were the players who did it in a September victory at Cleveland. This is the first time in Raiders history that they had two such games in the same season.

Bears suffer a late loss in rare fashion (and we do mean rare)

A quick three-and-out by the Bears after the Vikings tied the score with 1:49 to play was the set-up for Blair Walsh’s 36-yard game-winning field goal in Minnesota’s 23-20 victory at Soldier Field. It was only the second time in the 96-season history of the Bears franchise-as old as the NFL itself-that they lost a game in regulation after leading by at least seven points inside the 2-minute warning. The first was also against the Vikings; it was the final game of the 1965 season. Minnesota scored two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes: a 22-yard pass by Fran Tarkenton and a 35-yard interception return by linebacker Rip Hawkins.

nullA big game for Texans’ pass-rushing duo

Whitney Mercilus was credited with 3.5 sacks and J.J. Watt with 2.5 in Houston’s 20-6 win over Tennessee. It was the first game in Texans history in which two of its players earned more than two sacks each. The only other teammates to do that this season were Chandler Jones (3.0) and Jamie Collins (2.5) of the Patriots in a victory over the Bills in September.

Seahawks stifle the Cowboys

The Cowboys managed only 220 yards of offense in a 13-12 loss to Seattle. That was Dallas’ lowest yardage total in a home loss since Christmas Day 2006, when they gained just 201 yards against the Eagles.

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Weekend Update: #World Series

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The Royals, the team that refused to go away, defying the greatest odds night after night this postseason, will go down as one of the most relentless teams of this generation.

The way it ended last year, with everything that happened,’’ Hosmer said, “it was such a magical run. You knew it couldn’t end like that. The ending of that story had to be way better than losing Game 7.

“Just to have the opportunity to come back with the same core group of guys, and have another chance to compete for a world championship is special in itself.

“We believed in each other, and we definitely made the most out of the opportunity.

“We refused to quit.’’

Oh, how they were relentless…...(continue reading)

Source: Nightengale: Royals find fitting end to World Series title

An unlikely hero clinches the Series for Royals

Christian Colon drove in Jarrod Dyson, sparking a five-run 12th inning by which the Royals won the 2015 World Series with a 7-2 victory over the Mets. Colon was only the third player to drive in the World Series-clinching run as a pinch-hitter. Ironically, the first was current Royals first-base coach Rusty Kuntz, as a member of the 1984 Tigers. Kuntz delivered Kirk Gibson with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to give Detroit a 4-3 lead that it never relinquished. The other pinch-RBI to clinch a World Series was by Gene Larkin of the Twins in 1991.

Colon was also the first player to drive in the Series-clinching run on the first World Series plate appearance of his career.

Kansas City’s five runs in the 12th broke the World Series record for runs in one inning in extra innings. The previous mark was four by the Mets in the 12th inning of Game 2 against the A’s in 1973.

A first since the 1950 Yankees

Kansas City hit only two home runs in the 2015 World Series-solo shots by Alcides Escobar andAlex Gordon, both in Game 1. The Royals were the first team to win a World Series with only two runs scored on homers since the 1950 Yankees.

Kansas City rides late comebacks to World Series title

The Royals came from behind in each of their four World Series wins. That in itself is not rare. Five other teams did it in a best-of-seven format: the Pirates in 1925, Reds in 1975, Dodgers in 1981, Marlins in 1997, and Angels in 2002. But Kansas City was the first team to win three games in the same World Series in which it trailed in the eighth inning or later

Weekend Update: #CollegeFootball Edition

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—The rooms, built for various Jacksonville Jaguars to meet on NFL game days, stand about 50 feet apart. In each room, a man stood Saturday in front of a backdrop that matched his clothing. In each, cameras focused their unblinking eyes on the man in front of the backdrop. In one room, the man in front of the backdrop had a good answer to every question. In the other, the man in front of the backdrop seemed to have no answers at all.

“I don’t expect to lose, and I think we should never come into an event thinking we are going to come in second,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said after his team’s 27–3 win over Georgia all but wrapped up the SEC East title. McElwain had been asked if, entering this season, he’d expected the Gators to have a shot at reaching the SEC title game. He swore he had, but more as a matter of principle than a concrete belief that Florida would achieve any particular record in league play. “One thing you learn real quick in this business,” McElwain said, “is that there are no participation ribbons.”……(continue reading)

Source: The Mark Richt question: Is it time for Georgia to find a new coach?

Projected College Football Playoff

1. LSU (8–0)

The Tigers were on bye this week, but we’ll find out a lot more about them when they face Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Before that, we’ll find out what the College Football Playoff selection committee thinks about the Tigers and everyone else. The first rankings come out Tuesday, and I haven’t the slightest clue if the committee’s top four will resemble this one.

2. Clemson (8–0)

NC State kept things close until the middle of the third quarter in what felt like a trap game for Clemson—decent opponent, tough road atmosphere, a week before Florida State comes to Death Valley—but Tigers sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson poured it on in the second half of a 56–41 win. Watson finished with 383 passing yards with five passing touchdowns and 54 rushing yards with one rushing score. Next up for the Tigers is the unofficial ACC Atlantic Division championship against the Seminoles.

3. Baylor (7–0)

The Bears didn’t play this week, but we’ll get a look at how the offense works with freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham at the helm when Baylor visits Kansas State on Thursday night.

4. Ohio State (7–0)

Just when it seemed the Buckeyes had their quarterback rotation figured out, the situation gets muddled again. Starter J.T. Barrett’s OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) charge will keep him out of the game against a Minnesota team that pushed Michigan to the brink in Week 9. Once again, the Buckeyes are down to Cardale Jones. That worked out quite well the last time it happened, but the bigger question is what happens when Barrett comes off suspension.

A random ranking

I’m crowdsourcing topics once again, and this week’s is a twist on the one suggested by @JoshuaJGrubbs.

@Andy_Staples tv theme songs

— Swerve (@joshuajgrubbs) 1446351529.0

He wants TV theme songs, but I’ve already done an overall list. So, let’s narrow it to 1980s sitcom theme songs. These are judged on musical composition, scene selection, the actors’ excellence in turning to the camera as their names are displayed on screen and my inability to forget the words no matter how hard I try to replace them with more useful knowledge. As always, all decisions are final. (We’re not including The Wonder Years because I already included the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” in my ranking of greatest cover songs.)

……(continue reading)

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